Michael McKeon is a Partner of Mercury, specializing in crisis communications, media relations and public affairs campaign management. Mike’s experience in government, politics and journalism gives him a unique understanding of how the news media frames current events and opinions; it’s an understanding born of more than 10 years working as a reporter for three New York newspapers and winning several awards for local and political reporting.
During his time with Mercury, Mike served as Executive Director of Republicans for Cuomo, helping Governor Andrew Cuomo build bipartisan support for his overwhelming victory in 2010. In 2008, Mike served as a senior communications advisor to Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign. In 2006 Mike served as a senior advisor to Republican Jeanine Pirro for her 2006 bid for New York Attorney General.
In addition, Mike has helped corporate clients, nonprofits and industry associations wage winning campaigns in New York City and Albany by mixing government relations and public affairs strategies to achieve positive results, while also proving crisis communications counsel to individuals and businesses thrust into the media spotlight by unforeseeable events.
Prior to joining Mercury, Mike served as New York Governor George Pataki's Director of Communications. In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Mike worked closely with Governor Pataki to help manage the State's response to the crisis. He advised the Governor on every public event and private briefing, including daily meetings with Mayor Rudy Giuliani and city officials, as well as with Bush administration officials.
In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, Mike oversaw development and production of highly acclaimed "I Love New York" ads, including an award-winning national spot featuring Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani to encourage tourism in New York City. As the Governor's chief liaison on September 11th issues to City Hall and family groups, Mike worked closely with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his staff, along with White House senior staff, on the development and production of the ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks. After leaving government, Mike was appointed by Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg to serve as a member of the distinguished panel of judges for the International World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition which selected the memorial for Ground Zero.
As Communications Director, Mike advised Governor Pataki on major policy and strategic decisions, while developing and overseeing all communications plans. Mike served as chief spokesman for the Governor, responding to national, state and local media inquiries on a daily basis, while shaping a pro-active media strategy to promote the Governor's agenda. Mike oversaw development of all advertising involving Governor Pataki, scheduled and planned events to further the Governor's goals, and was responsible for the development of all major speeches, including the annual State of the State.
Prior to that, Mike served as Press Secretary to the Governor, overseeing the daily communication operations of the Governor's office and all state agencies and authorities. He directed more than 100 communications professionals throughout State government to ensure a consistent presentation of the Governor's agenda. Mike's efforts to promote the Governor's record and his agenda helped Governor Pataki achieve record-high approval ratings for a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic state.
Mike also served as chief spokesman and a top strategist for Governor Pataki's successful 2002 re-election campaign, while also playing a central role in the Governor's 1998 re-election. Those campaigns resulted in the two largest margins of victory for a Republican in New York State history, while the 2002 campaign was praised by a highly respected national media pundit on "Good Morning America" as the best campaign in America that year.
Mike graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University. He and his wife Jennifer reside in Manhasset and Kinderhook. He is the proud father of Maura, Jack, Caroline and Sean.